Below is a recap of LASD HOSTS efforts to date as they relate to contacting those experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County relating to the COVID19 virus.
On Tuesday 3/10, All members of the LASD HOST Team were trained and participated in the first of its kind webinar titled “Preparing for COVID-19 – Guidance for Los Angeles County Homeless Outreach Teams and their Agencies. The webinar was prepared by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) in collaboration with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH), and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH). The webinar was presented by Dr. Emily Thomas from DHS.
From 3/11/20 to 3/17/20, LASD HOST/COPS Teams has provided a safe environment for outreach workers from LAHSA and other outreach agencies as they went to homeless encampments to inform the homeless population regarding the COVID19 virus as to assess their current condition. The HOST Team contacted those experiencing homelessness at the following locations within LASD jurisdiction.
- San Jose Creek/San Gabriel confluence
- San Gabriel River
- Rio Hondo River
- Whittier Narrows Recreation Area
- Walnut Creek
- Charter Oak Wash
- Citrus Spreading Grounds
- Compton Creek to cut-off point that leads into Long Beach
- Los Angeles Riverbed – from Imperial Highway to Alondra Boulevard.
- Santa Clara River – 14 Freeway to Sierra Highway
- Gorman Catch Basin
- Unincorporated Gorman/Val Verde
- Project 21 Waterway – Hawaiian Gardens
- Coyote Creek – Leffingwell to Carson Street
- Dominguez Channel from 116th to Vermont AvenueOn 3/18/20 LASD HOST along with LAHSA HOST are scheduled to conduct outreach in the Malibu and Topanga Canyon areas.
LASD HOST is participating in a public health working group addressing best practices regarding COVID19 and the homeless population
The public health working group is preparing an educational flier for the homeless population regarding the COVID 19 virus and as soon as the document is completed LASD HOST will disseminate
In the event someone in the homeless population is contacted by homeless outreach workers in LA County Sheriff’s jurisdiction, and they determine the person is displaying the symptoms of COVID19 and refuses whatever measures the outreach team has prescribed, the outreach workers have been instructed not to call the local sheriff station or 911. The outreach staff has been instructed to call the monitored business line at MET Dispatch (626 258 3002). MET Dispatch will notify the LASD HOST Team so an appropriate resource can be deployed to address/de-escalate the situation. This was done in an attempt to prevent local stations from being severely impacted by exposure to a person experiencing homelessness who is refusing medical care. This information was provided to the public health workgroup for homeless outreach workers.